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Neil Peart and Ayn Rand


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#21 fenderjazz

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 08:35 PM

She posited that forced altruism was bogus and harmful. And she arguably experienced the extremes of that.

That argument continues.

 

Correct.  The core of libertarian though is not that charity and goodwill is wrong, it's just that it shouldn't be forced upon us at gunpoint, as it is in the U.S. and other mixed economy countries.


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#22 timbale

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 10:17 PM

It is so great to read everyone's thoughts on this - sometimes if you post something here searching for serious opinions/discussions, you end up with  a couple people just derailing the whole damn thing with jokes... it's nice that that doesn't happen all the time...

 

In terms of the capitalist success that Rush achieved, I was thinking about the role that Can Con has played.  For those who don't know, in Canada there are strict rules that radio stations have to follow regarding how much Canadian content they have to play.  These rules came into being in 1971, when the percentage was set at 25%.  The percents have climbed since then, and now many commercial stations are licensed at 40% Canadian content.  While through the 70's Rush did not garner a lot of radio play, they have been a staple of rock radio from the 80's until present day.  

 

This is essentially a government handout to help support an industry fighting against the free market juggernaut called the US music industry.  I wonder how Rush, and Neil in particular,  square their Randian view with this system that has existed for their entire recording career... and is surely the reason you can flip by a classic rock station in Canada and be certain to hear Fly By Night or In The Mood or some other (let's face it) less than classic Rush song every single day.


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Courageous convictions will drag the dream into existence.  


#23 chemistry1973

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 10:23 PM

Can Con was absolutely essential in growing Rush's popularity.
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#24 DaveG

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 01:23 AM

Correct.  The core of libertarian though is not that charity and goodwill is wrong, it's just that it shouldn't be forced upon us at gunpoint, as it is in the U.S. and other mixed economy countries.

Yeah, with the veneer stripped off of it, that's what it is - government-mandated charity enforced at the point of a gun, since that's what government ultimately brings to the table, as the agency granted a legal monopoly on the use of physical force. You will tithe a large chunk of the money you worked to earn which we will redistribute to others as we see fit. If you don't, we'll come to arrest you, and if you resist, we'll shoot you. I sometimes think that state-enforced charity has greatly lessened the spirit of voluntary charity and generosity that might otherwise exist among people and replaced it with an atmosphere of mutual resentment.

 

I don't recall the exact words now, but Rand had an example illustrating what real selflessness, real altruism actually is. Something to the effect that if you have some money and spend it all to buy medicine to save your sick child's life, that's not a sacrifice, that's not being seflless. You're acting in rational self-interest because your child represents a greater value to you than anything else you could spend that money on. If you give the money to somebody down the street so they can save their child and let your child die, that's selflessness. That's what embracing the idea of putting others' needs before your own self-interest would actually look like. I can't imagine very many of the people who carry on about the beauty of being selfless would actually practice what they preach in that situation.

 

The moment someone actually achieved that state would be when they embodied the literal meaning of self-LESS-ness...having no self and becoming dead inside. Of course, it makes sense that religious power mongers long ago set up as the ideal the achievement of a state that would essentially wipe you out of existence if you actually reached it. That way they could say we've all fallen short and are unworthy and then they could cash in on guilt. People who feel sinful and unworthy are so much easier to control.

 

Okay, that's enough ultra serious talk for one evening. I need a great big cup of coffee.


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#25 Three Eyes

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 05:07 AM

It is so great to read everyone's thoughts on this - sometimes if you post something here searching for serious opinions/discussions, you end up with a couple people just derailing the whole damn thing with jokes... it's nice that that doesn't happen all the time...

 

Knock knock...


Hey there goes Alex. He's loaded with money. Wow he's really set himself up great.


#26 Three Eyes

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 05:55 AM

Don't feed the people
But we feed the machines

Hey there goes Alex. He's loaded with money. Wow he's really set himself up great.


#27 The Enemy Within

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 12:53 PM

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with it's unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."

 

John Rogers

 

Well, It certainly didn't seem to do Neil any harm, did it??? ;)


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#28 SJS

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 03:31 PM

I could imagine being attracted to a band because of a political stance, but I can't imagine avoiding one because of a political stance.  I happily sing along with lyrics all the time that I think are shit as political philosophy.  Imagine by Lennon is a great song, and yet the lyrics are the political musings of a 7-year old.

 

Randian political philosophy is clearly evident in Anthem, Something for Nothing, 2112, The Trees, and probably a few other Rush songs.  If you let that bother you, you miss 4 of the ass-kickingest songs of all time. 

 

How did we get to a place in our culture where everything is political?  It's like we're living in some watered down version of the novel 1984.  It's just not normal for people to be so caught up in politics that they can't enjoy a goddamn rock song because Paul Ryan might like the lyrics.

 

:rolleyes:


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#29 fenderjazz

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 03:52 PM

I could imagine being attracted to a band because of a political stance, but I can't imagine avoiding one because of a political stance.  I happily sing along with lyrics all the time that I think are shit as political philosophy.  Imagine by Lennon is a great song, and yet the lyrics are the political musings of a 7-year old.

 

Randian political philosophy is clearly evident in Anthem, Something for Nothing, 2112, The Trees, and probably a few other Rush songs.  If you let that bother you, you miss 4 of the ass-kickingest songs of all time. 

 

How did we get to a place in our culture where everything is political?  It's like we're living in some watered down version of the novel 1984.  It's just not normal for people to be so caught up in politics that they can't enjoy a goddamn rock song because Paul Ryan might like the lyrics.

 

:rolleyes:

 

Exactly.  As a Libertarian, the culture is not mine.  I'm not going to only listen to Dennis Miller and for music Rush from 1975-1981.  I'm not going to only get my news from John Stossel and I'm not going to only watch South Park.  I am entertained by what entertains me.  Politics don't matter.  I don't even fully join the "Libertarian club".  I like what I like and I espouse beliefs that are mine.



#30 Rick N Backer

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 04:37 PM

Around the time of Hemispheres I read in The Hockey News that Ken "the Rat" Linseman of the Philadelphia Flyers was an Ayn Rand fan and he mentioned some quote about being a warrior that I don't recall exactly.  I sent him a letter telling him to check out Rush and I got a hand-written note back thanking me for the recommendation.

 

I always thought their last Rand-influenced song was The Mission, Neil being in awe of the creative achievers of the world.


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#31 fenderjazz

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 05:00 PM

Around the time of Hemispheres I read in The Hockey News that Ken "the Rat" Linseman of the Philadelphia Flyers was an Ayn Rand fan and he mentioned some quote about being a warrior that I don't recall exactly.  I sent him a letter telling him to check out Rush and I got a hand-written note back thanking me for the recommendation.

 

I always thought their last Rand-influenced song was The Mission, Neil being in awe of the creative achievers of the world.

 

Yes, forgot about that one.  The Mission is very much a Rand-influence.


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#32 Moving Target

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 05:51 PM

Yes, forgot about that one.  The Mission is very much a Rand-influence.


Never considered that. I thought they had been listening to Andrew Lloyd Webber.

#33 chemistry1973

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 05:53 PM

Never considered that. I thought they had been listening to Andrew Lloyd Webber.


Zing!

#34 Moving Target

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 05:55 PM

I could imagine being attracted to a band because of a political stance, but I can't imagine avoiding one because of a political stance. I happily sing along with lyrics all the time that I think are shit as political philosophy. Imagine by Lennon is a great song, and yet the lyrics are the political musings of a 7-year old.

Randian political philosophy is clearly evident in Anthem, Something for Nothing, 2112, The Trees, and probably a few other Rush songs. If you let that bother you, you miss 4 of the ass-kickingest songs of all time.

How did we get to a place in our culture where everything is political? It's like we're living in some watered down version of the novel 1984. It's just not normal for people to be so caught up in politics that they can't enjoy a goddamn rock song because Paul Ryan might like the lyrics.

:rolleyes:


My reading of The Trees is that it advocates what Rand called 'collectivism'. Stand alone like a tall poppy Randian hero, and get felled. Get together into a big impenetrable forest and you'll be ok.
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#35 SJS

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 06:03 PM

My reading of The Trees is that it advocates what Rand called 'collectivism'. Stand alone like a tall poppy Randian hero, and get felled. Get together into a big impenetrable forest and you'll be ok.

 

My reading of The Trees is that it's a critique of governmental solutions to inequality.  The song has a tragic ending - the trees are all kept equal by hatchet, axe, and saw.  That's a pretty uncharitable reading of the song if you think Neil is advocating that solution.  You don't even have to be Randian to be anti-collectivist, which I think is clearly the message.


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#36 chemistry1973

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 06:12 PM

I always thought Peart was advocating the solution in the trees. It feels that way anyway.

Trees were oppressed so the taller ones had to be cut down.

God that song is dumb.
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#37 SJS

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 09:18 PM

I always thought Peart was advocating the solution in the trees. It feels that way anyway.

Trees were oppressed so the taller ones had to be cut down.

God that song is dumb.

 

Good heavens, people!  Neil always availed himself of sophisticated lyrical styles, and here he was channeling Jonathan Swift.

 

FWIW, The Trees ranked 11th on the National Review's list of the top 50 conservative rock songs, and cited the last line of that song as proof of its conservative bona fides.


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#38 Three Eyes

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 09:33 PM

The Trees is 1978 Peart. It's anti-collectivist.


Hey there goes Alex. He's loaded with money. Wow he's really set himself up great.


#39 Moving Target

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 10:08 PM

My reading of The Trees is that it's a critique of governmental solutions to inequality. The song has a tragic ending - the trees are all kept equal by hatchet, axe, and saw. That's a pretty uncharitable reading of the song if you think Neil is advocating that solution. You don't even have to be Randian to be anti-collectivist, which I think is clearly the message.


That would never have occurred to me. I would have lived until my dying day thinking the song is about the Anglo Canadians and Quebecoises uniting against some form of tyranny.

#40 chemistry1973

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 10:18 PM

It is such a mishmash of bad metaphors and half assed symbolism. No wonder everyone is confused.

First of all- the Maples NEED sunlight. This is not a case of 'want' but survival. Sunlight is food for a tree. So if the Oaks are going to hoard life giving services then they have to be regulated.




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